London wowed by ancient, heroic dance

By Zheng Wanyin and Wang Linyan in London | China Daily Global | Updated: 2024-02-20 02:03
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The traditional Chinese Puning Yingge folk dance takes center stage at London's Burlington Arcade on Feb 10. The arcade has been an iconic London landmark since 1819. [Photo by Yu Guo/For China Daily]

Performers take 300-year-old warriors' dance to Europe for the first time as part of UK's Chinese New Year festivities, Zheng Wanyin and Wang Linyan report in London.

For more than a month, Chen Jinxiang, a villager from Puning, a city in South China's Guangdong province, has been living a life like the fictional Clark Kent: working by day - in this case as the owner of an online clothes shop - and becoming a hero when needed.

But Chen is no superhero and adopts his hero persona for entertainment, along with other dancers in his troupe who practice traditional Chinese Puning Yingge folk dance for an upcoming trip to London, UK.

The dance, a national intangible cultural heritage in China, dates back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and is considered a dance of heroic warriors due to its close association with the classic novel about Chinese heroism called Water Margin.

Through its combination of opera, acrobatic dance, and martial arts, it retells the literature stories of good suppressing evil.

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